Download our guide to protect yourself from crime

What’s the difference between authorised and unauthorised fraud?

Unauthorised fraud is when criminals carry out the transaction without the victim's knowledge, for example, stealing a customers log on credentials or credit card details. 

An example of unauthorised fraud is a criminal who steals victim’s banking details, and takes some money without their knowledge. 

Authorised fraud is when the victim carries out a transaction themselves in the false belief it is genuine because they have fallen for a scam. 

An example of authorised fraud is where a victim meets someone online, and is convinced into sending them money for a false business deal.

Be fraud aware

Unfortunately, there are lots of different types of fraud, scams and ways that criminals like to try and get their hands on what doesn’t belong to them. The aim of this guide is not to scare you it’s simply to make you aware of the different types of scams that you could be a victim of.


In-person crime

Identification theft

Financially-related identity theft is when someone uses another person’s information that is specific to them, without their permission, for their own financial gain and the other person’s disadvantage. 

This information includes but is not limited to;
  • Name
  • Credit card details
  • Address
  • Date of birth
For example, the criminal could be trying to obtain credit in someone else’s name if they are not eligible themselves and therefore the debt would be passed on to the person whose identity is being used. 

If you are a victim of identity theft it can have a direct impact on your personal finances and could make it difficult for you to apply for credit, mortgages and other loans in the future. Fraudsters can get hold of your identity by taking personal documents from your recycling and rubbish bins or by making contact with you and pretending to be from a legitimate organisation and asking you questions about your details. 

Here are some tips that may prevent criminals from getting hold of your identity;

  • Shredding any documents that you don’t need to keep with your details on
  • Don’t leave bills and other documents lying around at home for people to see
  • If you are expecting a new card or a statement from your bank or building society and it does not arrive, make sure that you contact them about it
  • When you move house, ensure that you change your address on everything that currently gets sent to your address with your details on
  • Keep an eye on your statements and any bills or invoices that you receive and let your bank or credit providers know if you see anything suspect on your statement. 
If you do think that you have been a victim of identity theft, act quickly by contacting your bank or credit lender - they will then be responsible for investigating the issue and will report any criminal activity to the police.

Cheque fraud

There are three types of cheque fraud:

  1. Counterfeit cheques. These are made to look like ‘real’ cheques, but are drawn by a scammer on genuine accounts
  2. Forged cheques are genuine cheques that have been stolen and used by a scammer with a fake signature
  3. Fraudulently altered cheques are genuine cheques that have been written out by the genuine customer, but modified in some way by a scammer to, for example, change the beneficiary name or amount.


You can download a PDF version of this guide here.

In person crime


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